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Duchess of Cornwall to interview author Shuggie Bain

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Duchess of Cornwall to interview author Douglas Stuart about his ‘life-changing year’ after winning the Booker Prize with debut novel Shuggie Bain, based on his childhood with an alcoholic mother in Glasgow in the 1980s

  • Duchess of Cornwall to interview Booker Prize winner Douglas Stuart
  • Stuart’s novel explores the story of a boy growing up with a mother battling addiction
  • He dedicated Shuggie Bain to his own mother, who died when he was a teenager
  • Author joins Camilla at Clarence House, with a pre-recorded interview played during the Booker Prize ceremony










Booker Prize winner Douglas Stuart is interviewed by the Duchess of Cornwall about his ‘life-changing year’ at this year’s award ceremony.

The author won the award last year for his debut novel Shuggie Bain. During the 2021 award ceremony, a pre-recorded interview between Stuart and Camilla will be played over tea in Clarence House.

Based on Stuart’s own childhood, Shuggie Bain is set in 1980s Glasgow and tells the story of a boy growing up with a mother struggling with addiction.

The novel is dedicated to the Stuart’s mother, who died of an alcohol addiction when he was 16.

Booker Prize winner Douglas Stuart is interviewed by the Duchess of Cornwall about his ‘life-changing year’ at this year’s award ceremony

Stuart will also attend the ceremony live, hosted by broadcaster Samira Ahmed.

The ceremony will be broadcast on BBC Radio 4’s Front Row, BBC iPlayer and BBC News Channel.

It takes place on November 3. Six books have been nominated for this year’s award.

They are No One Is Talking About This by Patricia Lockwood, Richard Powers’ Bewilderment, Maggie Shipstead novel Great Circle, A Passage North by Anuk Arudpragasam, The Promise by Damon Galgut and The Fortune Men by Nadifa Mohamed.

Based on Stuart's own childhood, Shuggie Bain is set in 1980s Glasgow and tells the story of a young boy growing up with a mother struggling with addiction.

Based on Stuart’s own childhood, Shuggie Bain is set in 1980s Glasgow and tells the story of a young boy growing up with a mother struggling with addiction.

First awarded in 1969, the Booker Prize is open to writers of any nationality whose work is written in English and published in the UK or Ireland.

The 44-year-old writer is the second Scotsman ever to win the £50,000 prize after James Kelman took home the award for How Late It Was, How Late in 1994.

Stuart was born and raised in Glasgow before moving to New York to pursue a career in fashion design at the age of 24, working for brands such as Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren and Gap.

The author explores poverty, harsh parenting and alcoholism in his book

The author explores poverty, harsh parenting and alcoholism in his book

He started writing in his spare time ten years ago and his short stories have since appeared in The New Yorker.

He was announced as the winner last year in a virtual ceremony with contributions from former US President Barack Obama and the Duchess of Cornwall.

The author said his Man Booker win meant he could give up his career in the fashion industry and devote himself to writing.

At the time, Margaret Busby, chairman of the jury who voted unanimously to celebrate Stuart’s book, described Shuggie Bain as “daring, terrifying and life-changing.”

She added: ‘The heartbreaking story tells of the unconditional love between Agnes Bain – who, due to the difficult circumstances that life has brought her on a descent into alcoholism – and her youngest son.

Shuggie struggles with responsibilities beyond his age to save his mother from himself, while simultaneously dealing with nascent feelings and questions about his own otherness.

Graciously and powerfully written, this is a novel that makes an impact because of its many emotional registers and its compassionately realized characters.

‘The poetry in Douglas Stuart’s descriptions and the precision of his observations stand out: nothing is wasted.’

The author explores poverty, harsh parenting and alcoholism in his book, which Busby says is “destined to become a classic.”

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